A technology platform is a centralized structure for a technology industry. Platforms bring together the main actors in a particular industry to address strategic issues. They develop and maintain integrated research agendas and ensure long-term collaboration and compatibility. In addition, they foster a shared vision for technological development. For example, a platform can provide a comprehensive logic process technology for semiconductor manufacturing or a specialty technology for hybrid and electrical vehicles.
A technology platform can also refer to a group of technologies used to build and run business applications. Platforms enable users to run applications smoothly, and enable technical staff to easily extend and improve them. This helps speed up the entire process and increase the efficiency of the business. Typical technology platforms incorporate analytics, databases, application development, and integration tools. They may also include intelligent technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things.
A modern digital technology platform provides modularity, flexibility, and comprehensive reusability. These technologies are built on modern architecture principles such as microservices and containers, and are often hosted on elastic cloud infrastructure. By leveraging a modern digital technology platform, developers can rapidly develop new capabilities without a massive investment in bespoke applications. This allows teams to scale up and down as needed, and to re-use functionality in other projects.
A digital business technology platform should support an entire suite of activities including machine learning, edge intelligence, and serverless architecture. A digital business technology platform should also support agile methodologies, DevOps, and bimodal IT. A platform should also be able to support and integrate with existing IT infrastructure. When used properly, a technology platform can support the integration of new processes, tools, and assets. This gives companies the ability to make faster, more innovative decisions.
A platform can be a foundation, a business model, or a tech foundation. For example, Microsoft’s Windows platform is a platform, while Google’s Web platform is a technology foundation. In many companies, a technology platform is the way a business works. Its success depends on how easily it adapts to changing business processes.
A technology platform is different from a marketplace in that a platform does not have a two-sided market. It provides building blocks and services that are used by 3rd parties to create new applications. The third-party developer can then extend the platform’s functionality. By extending the platform, a technology platform can grow exponentially.
When choosing a technology platform, a firm must keep in mind its long-term goals and future monetization potential. This will guide strategic decisions and help orchestrators decide when to monetize the platform. It’s important to strike the right balance between long-term value and near-term adoption. While choosing between a platform and a suite may seem like a daunting task, it will become obvious once the core strategy is understood.
Platforms can range from cloud services to mobile operating systems. They also can include APIs and value-added services. For example, a mobile platform may contain specialized APIs for developers. A cloud platform could include a platform for storing data. Platforms that provide cloud services may include API gateways, content delivery networks, and security systems.